Apple, in a surprising move, unveiled its latest offering, the iPhone 15 Pro, and dropped a bombshell for tech enthusiasts. The new iPhone has taken a leap by adopting technologies that bear a striking resemblance to Nvidia’s GPU features. While it’s not precisely DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), Apple has introduced upscaling and hardware-accelerated ray tracing, a move reminiscent of Nvidia’s gaming prowess.
Apple’s groundbreaking A17 Pro SoC (System on Chip) boasts the most extensive GPU overhaul in the company’s history. This GPU transformation includes a significant revision of the shader architecture and introduces robust hardware support for ray tracing.
In a notable enhancement, the iPhone’s GPU count has been elevated from five to six, resulting in a claimed 20% increase in performance. The upscaling capabilities, on the other hand, are made possible by harnessing the A17 Pro’s Neural engine concurrently with the GPU. This approach bears a striking resemblance to Nvidia GPUs, which employ DLSS upscaling with assistance from their AI-accelerating Tensor cores.
Implications Beyond Mobile Gaming
You might wonder why this matters, especially for PC gamers who may not take iPhone gaming too seriously. It’s a valid point, but there’s a fascinating twist to this development.
The GPU cores featured in the iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 Pro SoC, the very ones supporting upscaling and hardware ray tracing, will be integrated into Apple’s next-generation M3 chips for its Mac lineup.
This includes MacBook laptops, as well as desktops like the Mac Mini, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro. Apple’s approach to silicon involves adopting CPU and GPU cores directly from contemporary iPhone SoCs into its Mac offerings.
While these Macs aren’t traditionally considered gaming platforms, this technical transition reflects the recognition of the importance of ray tracing and upscaling in today’s graphics landscape.
The Gaming Potential
Does this signal a future where iPhones or Macs become serious gaming machines? Probably not, as the Mac platform hasn’t historically thrived as a gaming haven, despite the impressive GPU capabilities of Apple’s M1 and M2 chips.
While upscaling and ray tracing represent a step in the right direction, Apple’s gaming success will depend on its willingness to invest in the ecosystem and software.
Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit shows promise, but the company has yet to fully commit to making Mac gaming a mainstream reality, regardless of the exceptional hardware it provides.
In conclusion, the iPhone 15 Pro’s embrace of Nvidia-like ray tracing and upscaling marks a significant milestone in Apple’s tech evolution. Whether this translates into a thriving gaming scene for Apple devices remains to be seen, but the hardware potential is undoubtedly there for a remarkable gaming experience.